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An exciting weekend of American rugby is almost over as D1A is down to four teams with some incredible results, a D1AA Spring Champion is crowned, and Major League Rugby kicked off its inaugural season.
In the D1A quarterfinal round, Life and Cal advanced on one side of the bracket while Penn State and Lindenwood will meet in the other semifinal. Life took care of business in Georgia beating Army, 44-10, and Cal had its hands full with a confident Navy side but won, 33-27.
As for the Lindenwood versus St. Mary’s match, the Lions shocked the #1 ranked Gaels on the road to win 43-22. Lindenwood led from the start and Deion Mikesell notched a hat trick in the surprising victory. The Lions challenged St. Mary’s in every aspect of the game and the defense stood tall to silence the potent Gael offense.
Penn State opened the eyes of D1A with a 48-46 thriller over BYU. Fourteen tries were scored with momentum shifting from one team to the other. The Nittany Lions battled back from a 43-24 deficit with 20 minutes left to score three tries to tie it up with less than five minutes left. BYU kicked a penalty to pull ahead, but PSU’s Brendan Le Galludec scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute off a maul to knock off the Cougars.
For the D1AA Spring Championship, Dartmouth finished its romp through the competition by defeating Nevada, 66-20. The Big Green scored ten tries by eight players with Mason Koch and Luke Bienstock each scoring a pair. Dartmouth now plays Mary Washington on May 5th for the D1AA National Championship.
MLR began its first season on Saturday with two games and a third will be played Sunday night. NOLA claimed the first victory beating Houston, 35-26, and Glendale followed it up with a 41-26 win over the Austin Elite. Additionally, the Utah Warriors completed their preseason with an 80-12 win over Alberta but lost Josh Whippy to a leg injury late in the contest. Tonight, the Seattle Seawolves host the San Diego Legion at Starfire Stadium to complete week one.
In DI club land, the Norfolk Blues triumphantly beat Rocky Gorge, 39-34, to earn the Mid-Atlantic regular season title. This is the Blues’ first DI victory over Gorge and only Gorge’s second loss since moving to DI three years ago. In the Red River, Dallas, Austin, and Glendale cleaned up the competition scoring at least 40 points in each contest and NYAC beat Old Blue, 41-18, in the Atlantic North. In non-conference affairs, the Ontario Arrows beat Mystic River, 29-19, and the Chicago Lions ran past the Detroit Tradesmen, 36-28.
Lastly, SFGG picked up a win and bonus point to create a three-way tie for standing points atop the PRP. Its 26-15 win over Life West has SFGG tied with OMBAC and Belmont Shore for the lead. Based on tie-breakers, OMBAC and Belmont are in first and second with one game left on Saturday.